Despite the fact that I'm raising Tiki for an organization that is 900 miles away, I still feel like I'm part of a much larger puppy raising group. In part, because I am! Want to know what I'm talking about?
This amazing little organization based an hour away that you know one active raiser for and one currently waiting for a pup. Canine Angels Service Teams. Most of their raisers are in California so there are puppy raising "groups" that get together for outings on a regular basis but just recently (in the past 6 months) have there been enough raisers in Southern Oregon to organize group outings. The first was yesterday and despite the fact that Coreena doesn't have a puppy and I got a puppy from a different organization we were invited to attend. I wish I could explain how much fun it was! It just feels like home! All the "pups" were between 5 and 6 months old although a Goldendoodle was brought for Coreena/whoever extra to handle who is approaching 2 years of age. I loved it so much! It was laid-back and fun and the two raisers we haven't met before were welcoming and easy-going. Most of these pups have only been in public a few times but it was a quiet morning at the mall and not a lot was asked of them other than to not pull on leash and be unobtrusive. (Not major commands, it was all about making sure they were comfortable and working on building confidence)
I took a lot of pictures but here are just a "few". Meet the pups that attended!
^This is Terra. She's a female standard poodle and is being raised by a first-time raiser^
^The black on is Vida, a female goldendoodle. She's a doll! On the right is Tundra, Terra's brother.^
Vida is her raiser's second pup to raise, her first was Joe Cool from the Peanuts litter who is currently in Advanced Training. Tundra is being raised by Sandy, one of the founders and the trainer of the organization. She's the "local" one to us, an hour away! It's a great privilege to watch her work and have her challenge me to switch tactics with the different dogs, I hope to learn a lot!
^Tundra and Vida (with Coreena and "Snoopy" in the background)^
^Terra outside for a potty break^
^Vida outside for a potty break^
One of the things focused on was asking the pups to do "ups" and "jumps" on benches, "ups" on garbage cans and looking at the escalates. The goal being that what the pups do themselves builds confidence not only on different surfaces/difference circumstances but in general. Something I've never thought of doing in public to that extent but makes perfect sense since we do a lot of setting up in training sessions for similar things!
^Tundra doing a "jump" on the bench, then an "up" on the back of the bench^
^Wyatt, a male labradoodle, "Mr. Photogenic" as I call him, looking Crazy!^
^Terra working on her confidence. She absolutely stole my heart!^
^Snoopy (23 month old male goldendoodle) watching the pups gain confidence^
^Wyatt was enticed by a pine needle to "up" on the garbage can. (Ignore the people watching, I didn't notice them until I edited the picture!)^
^Snoopy looks like an "Eeyore"... it's because he is! Calm, sweet, easy going. Great to handle, but would bore me to tears if I had him for too long!
^Tundra! He's got some huge paws on him! I can't believe how big he got from 5 weeks ago! (We handled him a bit at the graduation in October)
^Vida and Terra telling secrets we can only imagine!^
If you can't tell, we had a great time! They're hoping to make the outings a monthly thing and we are excited about that. Where do I fit in the picture, though? Well, it's kind of complicated and kind of not. I've loved Canine Angels since the first graduation we attended 15 months ago. However there were personal reasons I couldn't apply to raise for them, then. There are also personal reasons I'm not raising for them at this time. It has nothing to do with them, but I feel it's better for everyone if I hold off until Coreena has shown herself to them without me fully in the picture, the same for Tabatha. Those of you that have followed me for any longer than a year knows the past history. I only got Tiki because I love raising service dogs for people that need them. I fear that I wouldn't have the self-control to not accept a pup from Canine Angels even if the timing wasn't great, if I didn't have one. They understand and seem to respect my decision, they also completely support it and have invited Tiki and I along on all the outings. The only thing is they need pictures they can use on the website and in the newsletter and such without her in them because she is from a different organization which I respect completely and understand. In fact, one of the first things Sandy said to us after she asked about my pup was "when she's old enough bring her along!". I love that they don't care what organization a dog is from, it's still being raised with the same goal in mind.
I'll share more later as I have a lot more pictures but just know, it was great to hang out with dog people that respect all organizations, and to be in such a relaxed environment. We talked "dog" so much and since Sandy raised for GDB when she was younger, well, we had a lot to talk about! Oh, and the training talk, oh I was in heaven! Thankfully this seems to be working out extraordinarily so far!